Methods of Travel
Between the many factions of the Milky Way Galaxy, a variety of methods for Faster Than Light (FTL) and sublight travel are employed to traverse the Known Galaxy.
Faster Than Light (FTL) Travel
Faster Than Light travel, also known as FTL travel, is the defining term for any method of travel that propels a ship at speeds faster than light (+299792 km/s). Many methods of FTL travel have been theorized or tested, however only two methods have seen practical use.
Slipspace travel is the primary method of faster than light travel employed by The Eternian Empire. The term slipspace refers to a sub-dimensional anomaly that is accessible only through calculated methods possible with the use of an Slipspace Drive. Unfortunately, the Coalition does not currently possess any means of accessing or exploring slipspace. It has been determined, however, that the exploration of slipspace is theoretically impossible due to the unstable nature of gravity within the anomaly.
The only galactic faction known to possess technology capable of accessing and traversing slipspace is the Eternian Empire. The empire is believed to equip ship-sized Slipspace Drives to all ships within the Eternian Royal Navy (ERN).
The first Slipspace Drive is believed to have been invented by the Eternian Empire at some point in the past millennium, however precise dates are unknown. To this date, the Eternian Empire remains the only faction known to possess the technology.
How Does It Work?
- Slipspace is most accurately defined as a sub-dimensional anomaly, meaning that slipspace is essentially a parallel dimension to our normal dimension (real space). Through the use of an exotic matter, slipspace drives are able to rupture spacetime in such a way that allows a passageway to open between real space and slipspace. Points in slipspace are relative to those in real space, however the distances between them are exponentially smaller.
Pros & Cons
- Slipspace travel is an extremely fast and efficient method of travel. Eternian ships are able to travel across the Galaxy in mere hours, versus other methods which can take months or even years at a time. Slipspace Drives are capable of connecting any two points in spacetime almost instantly.
Warp travel is the primary method of faster than light travel employed by the Coalition and its factions. A vessel equipped with a warp capability may travel at faster than light speeds by multiple degrees of magnitude. These distinct degrees of magnitude are referred to as warp speed. Designations of warp speed range from the slowest, Warp 1, to the fastest, Warp 4. In order to achieve warp speeds on an independent vessel, a warp drive must be equipped. By utilizing a warp drive, a vessel may accelerate the ship to the predetermined warp speeds. A warp drive does have the capability to accelerate a ship beyond Warp 4 speeds, however this can result in destabilization of the vessel. It is also advisable when travelling at warp speed to utilize Coalition approved warp-lanes. These warp-lanes are pathways through space that have been precalculated to avoid collision with celestial bodies while travelling at warp speeds.
How Does It Work?
- A warp drive, in the most simple of explanations, functions by warping spacetime around a vessel. While the vessel is not reaching faster than light velocity by itself, space is being warped in order to propel the vessel.
Sublight travel is the defining term for any method of travel that propels a ship at any speed lesser than that of the speed of light (-299792 km/s).
Plasma thrusters are the most common technology utilized by the Coalition (and many other factions) to travel at sublight speeds efficiently.
How Does It Work?
- Plasma thrusters utilize a type of electric propulsion that generates thrust from a quasi-neutral plasma (most often derived from argon) by conducting currents through the plasma internally to accelerate the ions directly. Plasma thrusters are far more efficient than older ion thrusters, which generate thrust through the extraction of an ion current from a plasma source, which is then accelerated using anodes. While plasma thrusters do produce lower exhaust velocities, they have become far more reliable for long-distance interplanetary space travel.
Dark Matter Thrusters
Dark matter thrusters are the technology employed by the Eternian Empire in order to propel vessels at sublight speeds.